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Western New Mexico Airgun Match on 07/10/20 and 07/11/20  

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Franklink
(@franklink)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 16
June 27, 2020 18:18:23  

The Southwest Airgunners will have a match at the Aspen Mountain site on the second weekend in July. We just had the first event at this site last weekend and it was a ton of fun for all involved. Check out the match report here:

https://airgunwarriors.com/community/postid/39080/

Planned events for July include a 20fpe silhouette match on Friday afternoon/evening, starting at 3pm, and a 13 lane/52shot field target course on Saturday morning, starting at 10am. Both will be held at Arizona time (one hour behind NM time right now). 

Rules for the silhouette event are simple: 20fpe limit, ram/turkey/pig/chicken/chicken at each of 40/50/60/70/yards, total of 20 shots per round, shot from any field target position, timed.

Rules for the FT match will be similar to what is practiced across the country, essentially AAFTA rules (20fpe limit, Open, Hunter, WFTF classes). We also have a Freestyle class which is pretty much anything goes, with the exception of a power limit of 20foot pounds. Last weekend we had a challenging but fun course. 

No match fee required but a donation of $5-10 would be greatly appreciated, going towards target maintenance and the continued establishment of the club. 

First timers are not only welcome but highly encouraged. We'd love to show you how fun field target can be. A laid-back atmosphere and a willingness to help will be the name of the game for the weekend. Don't be intimidated by not ever having shot a match before.

The match site is described in last weekend's report, but what seemed to work for most was to get directions from GPS or Google to Luna, New Mexico, in Catron County. There is also a Luna County in New Mexico, down on the border with Mexico, that's the wrong place. For the correct place, on HWY 180, about 9 miles south of the tiny town of Luna, NM turn west onto Forest Road 209. The turn off is at mile marker 14. Follow FS209/Saddle Mountain Lookout Road about 2.6 miles. FS209 is gravel, somewhat narrow, and gains elevation but we had some camp trailers and even a low clearance car make it in without any difficulty last weekend. 

Many of us will be camping with tents/trailers and anybody is welcome to join the camping. There is no established camp site, just dispersed camping wherever you'd like. If you're not the camping type, nearest lodging would be in Alpine, AZ or Ranch Grande Estates, NM. 

DIrections to Aspen Mtn Airgun Rendezvous

It's a little under 4hrs from Albuquerque and about 4.5hrs from Phoenix. The scenery is worth the drive. It is around 8600feet above sea level so springers welcome, but plan on some lost fps (and cool weather when the sun goes down). 

The more the merrier, all are invited and welcome.  

Please PM me if you're planning on coming or would like to have any questions answered.

(It is not confirmed yet, but we may have a couple lanes set up as a fun side-shoot for Saturday afternoon/evening with some high power/long range airguns. Some of the big EBR American Field Targets and some other bell targets/steel may make their way to the camp site. IF this comes to fruition, it'll likely just be a few lanes but it might be worth bringing an airgun that'll do 30+ fpe and reach out there to 100yards. This is likely to be fairly informal but still prove to be quite fun.)


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BillinOregon
(@billinoregon)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 23
September 3, 2020 08:31:45  

How did the match go?


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Franklink
(@franklink)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 16
September 11, 2020 01:10:47  
Posted by: @billinoregon

How did the match go?

 

The Southwest Airgunners club put on a second match this past weekend and it was great fun. Rex and Steve Q were the first to arrive at the match site on Wednesday evening. When Steve pulled up, he recounted how he’d seen a bear dart across the dirt road just a mile or two from camp. Rex said the same had happened to him, in the same place. The assumption is that the bear had something he was feeding on right there and the passing vehicles scared him away, but he quickly returned only to be jumped again. THAT is how wild and remote of an area these Aspen Mountain matches are held in. Here is a pic taken near Nutrioso, AZ which is about 45 min from the match site and really illustrates the wildness of the general area.

(If that’s not some beautiful country, I don’t know what is.) The rest of the gang filtered in over the next few days, with myself arriving on Friday around 10 AM.  When I got to the site we started the process of getting the FT course set. Rex had previously located the 13 lane markers and had some really creative plans for target placement.  Everybody pitched in, both with ideas and effort and we had, what we hoped would be, a really neat course set up within a few hours. Kent offered some equipment that made target placement much less physically demanding. Thank you Kent. Silhouettes in the Rain After getting the course setting out of the way, we moved on to a more enjoyable activity: Rex’s <20fpe modified chicken-little silhouette game. To recount the rules: any field target legal position, ram/turkey/pig/chicken/chicken at 40/50/60/70 yards. 20 shots per round, 8 min time limit per round, 2 rounds, knock it off the stand = 1 point, miss = 0 points, 1 shot per animal, 40 points total.  About the time we had everybody and their guns gathered up for chicken-little, the rain started. It had been threatening most of the day, with a low grumbling thunder here and there.  It wasn’t raining very hard, but enough to get stuff wet. And the temp dropped significantly. It had been around 86-88 degrees prior to the rain, but people were dashing for jackets once the clouds rolled in. Once comfortable, we all huddled under a canopy, hoping it would pass quickly. Steve M commented that we had to have stadium seating for the spectators while waiting their turn to shoot. 15 or so minutes in we just decided to go for it and shoot, rain or shine. It was funny to see us all huddled under the canopy, with just the muzzle end of the guns sticking out into the rain. Kent was concerned about getting his beautiful Daystate Huntsmen rained on, and waffled back and forth at least 3 times about whether or not participating was worth getting his baby wet.  Ultimately he couldn’t resist and, counting Kent, we had a total of 9 shooters. Some pics from the silhouette fun.

(below) Kent, Steve M and Steve Q shooting in this heat with Rex, Barry, and Ben waiting their turns. (Notice Kent here set back a few feet into the canopy, in relation to the other 2 shooters in his heat. He was SERIOUS about keeping his baby dry.) 

(below) Huddled up under the canopy. Water droplets visible on the canopy, with brightly painted silhouettes in the background.

Silhouette Results

Steve M                39/40           1st         USFT

Barry                     38/40           2nd         Red Wolf

Bobby                   37/40           3rd (tie) Red Wolf

Ben                        37/40          3rd (tie)  Red Wolf

Rex                        34/40                          TM 1000

Steve Q                 33/40                          Marauder

Kent                       32/40                          Huntsman

Cole                       32/40                          Raptor

Dan                        25/40                          TM 1000

Lots of talking airguns and hanging out enjoying the weather ensued after the silhouette match. The cooler temps seemed to push many of us into turning in early. I had some minor (I just THOUGHT that it was a minor project-it started before dark) gunsmithing to do, and ended up working on a trigger until almost 11pm. Set up the tent around 11:15   but finally got to bed and fell asleep pretty quickly. I woke up Saturday morning to see my trash bag on the ground. It had been hanging on a tree and as I approached it I was just sure it’d have tears perfectly matching bear claws. Nope, had simply fallen off the limb at some point in the night. By the time I rolled out of my tent I could already hear airguns popping as the shooters were putting their final touches on their confidence levels and dope charts. I had a quick breakfast and joined in. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my guns zero had withstood the trigger work from the prior night. All my dopes were spot on and I was feeling quite confident that I was as prepared as I could be for the match. We had known for a few days that Garret K was flying in to a nearby airport to participate, and Rex took off down the mountain at the appointed time to give him a ride up to the match site. I later joked with Garret that I’d need to include a pic of him and possibly the plane so that I could claim we are a prestigious enough event that we have people literally flying in to be part of it. We got a good chuckle out of that. Here are some awesome pics he got from up in the air:

And one of him, his plane, and his crackshot daughter Katherine:

While we were waiting on Rex to get back from the airport with Garrett and Katherine, none other than AOA owner Robert Buchanan pulled up, with world champion WFTF shooter Lauren Parsons in tow. They were ready for business and wanted to shoot in the match. Robert had grabbed a Daystate Saxon off the wall of his office at AOA on the way out the door. I later found out that gun had been sitting there collecting dust for a few years. Robert used to be quite active in Field Target but has been away for a few years, occupied with running his business. The time away didn’t keep him from knowing what he needed to do to be match-ready. He spent some time getting his dope figured out and marveled (like the rest of us) at how flat these PCPs can shoot at 8600 feet above sea level.  In this pre-match time, Robert also pulled out a Daisy V/L and briefly educated a few of us that were unfamiliar. From Wikipedia: The V/L ammunition consisted of a .22 caliber bullet with a small cylinder of propellant on the back, and no primer.[2] The rifle resembled a typical spring-air rifle, but the 2000° hot, high pressure air served not only to propel the projectile but also to ignite the propellant on the back of the V/L cartridge. The rifle uses a small, unique and well designed part called an Obturator (obturator/ignitor) to compress the air as it is pushed through a tiny hole. This air is heated as it is pushed through the small hole enough to ignite the powder of the caseless round. Elsewhere online I found that they produced a velocity of 1150 fps. A couple of us shot the gun and it was very cool. A little slice of history. Slugs before they were cool, and shot with a case-less. Again, very cool. We ended up with a total of 13 shooters wanting to take on the 13 lane course. Lane 1 started just about due south of the silhouette/camping area and shot southeasterly. Lane 2 was about 30 yards west of lane 1 and shot south, 2-13 continued on in a BIG loop, with 8-11 shooting mostly west, and finally 12 and 13 shooting north. Distance from lane 1 to lane 13 was probably 150 yards. The courses overall Troyer factor worked out to a 33.9 (calculated using only kz size and distance to target). Average distance of near targets = 22.6 yards Average Troyer factor of near targets = 34 Average distance of far targets = 42.4 yards Average Troyer factor of far targets = 33.8 Average distance of all target = 32.5 yards

Target Breakdown:

Target Detail:

As stated in last month's match report, Rex is the ringleader of this circus. He is also a taxidermist by profession. Attention to detail is pretty much his MO. Now, an artist can only do so much with a 2d flat piece of metal, but he and his wife Callista truly worked some magic painting up these targets. I was so impressed during the setting up of the course that I made it a point to walk through and get close-ups of some of the better ones. I've never seen field targets painted as well as this. It really took the match up a notch. And the detail made ranging easier (on some of them). 

Tricky Lanes We also had some tricky lanes and interesting target placement. Here is a close up and no zoom of a fun lane shooting between oak trees.

And close-up and no zoom a rat set back under a log.

This bird needed to be shot through the gap in that burnt out stump.

Shooters Ben making ready, check out that horizontal wind flag.

Bobby shooting while being scored by Steve M and Dan L

Garrett helping Katherine get situated

Kent shooting/Robert Scoring

Rex Shooting

Robert consulting his dope sheet

Steve Q being scored by Lauren

(

There was a question of a few targets not working properly and I hate  to be the bearer of bad news, but the only one that wasn't working properly was the bass on lane 5-the support arm on back actually broke at the weld. The barn owl on lane 10 was locked into place at the beginning of the course, and I think Ben and Barry may have lost a point or two on that one, prior to us getting it figured out. The near targets on lane 2 and 3 were questioned by many, but they went down just fine when hit in the kill zone. We know this because we shot through again with various guns and I even shot through using the lasered ranges…..all of the targets would fall cleanly when hit in the kill zone, including the near ones on 2 and 3. Those two near targets were truly difficult to range, as the sun was hitting the back of them and detail was hard to see. I personally lost points on those targets due to misranging them. I was 1/4 on those 4 close shots on lanes 2 and 3.) Conclusion Some interested folks were asking about the dirt road to the site.

Here is a pretty typical section of that 2.6miles of dirt road. 

And this was taken from the dirt road down to the highway below.

And this was taken from the highway up to the dirt road above. I circled a little cut in the face of the hill that was made for the hill. I think that cut is pretty close to the average section of dirt road pic above.

Many thanks and much appreciation to Rex for getting this whole thing going. Lots of behind the scenes work and I am grateful he is willing to do it. Also need to express appreciation for the help in setting and tearing down the course. Many hands make light work. Your efforts are appreciated.  Also thanks to all of the shooters who decided to make it out. We were glad to have you and hope to see you at future Aspen Mountain matches.  For those interested, the tentative plan is to have shoots here in the future in the months of May, June, July, likely the second weekend of each of those months. Other early spring shoots may happen further south in rotating match sites and will be announced as they are planned and begin to take shape.  


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BillinOregon
(@billinoregon)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 23
September 11, 2020 09:17:25  

Frank, this is one of the finest match reports I have read in years. Thank you for putting so much effort into it, including the photos and equipment lists. 


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Franklink
(@franklink)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 16
September 15, 2020 15:57:04  
Posted by: @billinoregon

Frank, this is one of the finest match reports I have read in years. Thank you for putting so much effort into it, including the photos and equipment lists. 

Thank you for the kind words. Pretty excited to get back to that location next summer. Really enjoyable match.


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